Jane’s Walk NYC & London Present: The Walker with Author Matthew Beaumont

Janes Walk

Led By Jane's Walk NYC AND Jane's Walk London

Join the Jane’s Walk NYC and Jane’s Walk London team as we join forces from across the pond to host a conversation with author Matthew Beaumont about his recent book, The Walker: on Losing and Finding Yourself in a Modern City. In addition to discussing themes in Mr. Beaumont’s book, the Jane’s Walk audience will share about observations in their neighborhoods. We are asking all attendees to have their “eyes on the street” and go on a walk in their area prior to the program, capturing a single photo of their wandering. Try going on a route less often taken. What do you notice? Photos will be collected in this Google Jam Board to create a collage of walk observations that will be discussed!

This event will be hosted on Zoom meeting. We recommend that all who RSVP arrive promptly as capacity is limited and the event may be oversubscribed.


About The Walker: On Losing and Finding Yourself in a Modern City

A literary history of walking from Dickens to Žižek

There is no such thing as a false step. Every time we walk we are going somewhere. Especially if we are going nowhere. Moving around the modern city is not a way of getting from A to B, but of understanding who and where we are. In a series of riveting intellectual rambles, Matthew Beaumont retraces episodes in the history of the walker since the mid-nineteenth century.

From Dickens’s insomniac night rambles to restless excursions through the faceless monuments of today’s neoliberal city, the act of walking is one of self-discovery and self-escape, of disappearances and secret subversions. Pacing stride for stride alongside literary amblers and thinkers such as Edgar Allan Poe, André Breton, H. G. Wells, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys and Ray Bradbury, Beaumont explores the relationship between the metropolis and its pedestrian life.

Through these writings, Beaumont asks: Can you get lost in a crowd? What are the consequences of using your smartphone in the street? What differentiates the nocturnal metropolis from the city of daylight? What connects walking, philosophy and the big toe? And can we save the city – or ourselves – by taking to the pavement?

Closed captioning will be available.
Location Information

RSVP is required and capacity is limited. Meeting location, ending location, and directions will be provided via email before walk date.


Saturday, May 8, 2021
12:00 PM
1-2 hours

Borough: Multi-borough
Theme: Advocacy, History & Culture
Platform: On Zoom
Language: English
  • Book cover for The Walker: On Losing and Finding Yourself in a Modern City.
    photo 1 of 2
  • Matthew Beaumont. Photo: Camilla Lewis.
    photo 2 of 2

About the Author

Matthew Beaumont is a professor in the Department of English at University College, London. He is the co-author, with Terry Eagleton, of The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagleton in Dialogue, and co-editor of Restless Cities. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London as well as The Walker. He lives in London.

About Jane’s Walk London
Jane’s Walk London is organized by a group of young women, all from different backgrounds, both in life and careers, volunteering their time to develop this exciting and evolving project in London. They are particularly interested in opening the conversation around the city-making process to the wider public and specifically aim to:

Instill belonging and foster civic leadership
Support people in building their urban knowledge and consciousness
Find alternative and creative ways to observe and critically analyze cities
Create the opportunity for experts from different backgrounds to get to know their urban audiences better

About Jane’s Walk NYC

Jane’s Walk NYC is presented by the Municipal Art Society of New York. For more than 125 years, MAS has lifted up the voices of the people in the debates that shape New York’s built environment, leading the way toward a more livable city from sidewalk to skyline. In addition to organizing Jane’s Walk, we advocate on planning, preservation, and policy issues that shape New York’s built environment and offer many public programs and walking tours throughout the year. What started as a handful of walks in 2011 has since grown into a weekend of collective neighborhood storytelling featuring hundreds of walks online and across all five boroughs (this year, the festival will run for a full week!)